I decided to pen a short piece in response to an email I received after my blog posting on the death of Bin Laden. Let me add that I am grateful to all those who read, and those who comment, whether they agree with me or not. I have a thick skin and a broad back.
This weekend I received correspondence from an adherent of the “religion of peace” explaining to me that I am going to burn in hell for my insults against “The Sheik” and also against “The Prophet”. This person went on to explain, using the spelling of a distracted 4th grader, how they wished to assist in my meeting my demise; then back-pedalled somewhat, likely so that I would not take action. Very kind, thoughtful and loving of them I am sure. I find I must respond, with my usual pudeur, by referring them to the answer given in Arkell v. Pressdram, or, if this person is not well versed in English case law, to the words of CeeLo Green.
In a more “adult voice” I would perhaps do better to refer my “fan” to the Richard le Galliene translation of the great poet, and secularist, Omar Khayyam from his Rubaiyat:
“And do you think that unto such as you;
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew:
God gave the secret, and denied it me?--
Well, well, what matters it! Believe that, too.”
I have, and will, exercise my first amendment rights without fear of what some semi-literate theocrat thinks of me. I adhere to the admonition of Nadine Gordimer to write for post mortem view, for that helps me to screen out all influences. And, lest the dear follower of the prophet find comfort in my writing as if for my post mortem view, he (and I have no doubt this coward who hides behind anonymity is a “he”) should take note that this is not the first threat to my person. There have been many.
I should, however, make myself abundantly clear. I will speak out against those who I believe are a danger to others. Those who threaten targeted violence, those who perpetrate violence against society or individuals and especially those who cling to a philosophy of hate masquerading as a religious belief.
I will give one example of where I will speak out: I believe, and I am sure my friend, the “follower of the one true [g]od”, does not, that there is in this world a cure for poverty and that is the empowerment and provision of educational opportunities for women. If only women are released from the shackled control of their reproductive systems imposed by certain groups of cowardly, fearful men; then provided with solid education (and access to credit for good measure) then we will see poverty decline and conflict decrease. This has always been so and it makes me wonder why certain peoples around this planet, in the face of this, continue to oppress women.
Like Thomas Jefferson, I don’t care “whether my neighbor believes in one god or fifteen, it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”. However, when someone uses their belief to threaten or bully others then, sir (and I am talking to the crepuscular writer of poorly phrased attacks), I will take issue with you, wherever you may be. It is infantile and vapid to indulge in that kind of behavior, yet it is the behavior I have come to expect from some in this life.
I look forward to, and hope for, a long life and to seeing all peoples of the world free from the manacles that are imposed by the Bronze Age views of some. Insha’ Allah!